I did some fun interviews way back, but many are either in print only [pre internet] or the links to these have long since ceased to work. so, i’ll be posting some of my favorites here from time to time. 🙂 My first one that I want to share is this interview i did with Teaze guitarist Chuck Price. Chuck did send me some pics at the time, but they’ve long since disappeared among old emails. Enjoy
“TEAZE were a Windsor, Ontario based band in the latter half of the ’70s that released a string of 5 Hard Rock LPs. The band’s self-titled debut [on indie label] is now a collector’s item, and probably the most liked by fans. This was followed by their Aquarius Records debut “On The Loose”, which spawned the country flavored ballad hit “Sweet Misery”, which contrasted with the band’s original gutsy guitar rock approach of the likes of “Lady Killer” and the title track. [Note: Popular thing for Canuck band’s to do in the ’70s seemed to be come out blazing then throw everybody a curve ball and score a big hit]. The band then found a welcome fanbase in Japan where they toured and recorded the simply titled “Tour Of Japan” . The band then made their most commercial appealing album “One Night Stands” with Myles Goodwyn [April Wine] producing. Though including a number good songs like “Young & Reckless”, “Heartless World”, and another countrified ballad in “Loose Change”, One Night Stands failed to break the band into the big leagues, and after a follow up album – “Body Shots”, the band fell apart. For a good overview of the band’s 3 Aquarius studio Lps, check out “Over 60 Minutes With Teaze” on CD, or “Tour Of Japan” [re-issued by Aquarius], or hunt down a vinyl copy of the debut album !
Here I had the chance to go through the band’s history with guitarist Chuck Price.
Thanks to Chuck for the great answers. I hope this offers some good info into one of Canada’s more short-lived and great bands of an era long gone by !”
Brian Danter – lead vocals, bass
Mike Kozak – drums
Marc Bradac – lead & slide guitar, backing vocals
Chuck Price – guitar, backing vocals
Q: Who were some of your musical heroes, influences, and fave guitar players in your pre-Teaze days ?
CP: I had a lot of musical influences when I was young, I listened to music from the moment my uncles showed me how to run the record player; I was about 4 and haven’t stopped. Early on I listened to all kinds of things. When I was at my father’s parents (5 Boys in the family) I listened to stuff like Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Fats Domino on the rock and roll side, and when I went to my mother’s parents (5 girls in the family) I listened to Elvis, Four Seasons, Paul Anka etc – the ‘teen idol’ side of things. I’d borrow a batch of records bring them home and sit and listen to them for hours. Then the 60’s came and I was hooked!
I was into everything – country, rock, pop, motown. I started playing accordian, but switched to guitar in ’62. Jeff Beck was always one of my favorite guitar players, but so were Steve Cropper, Pete Townsend, and Joe Walsh to name a few.
Q: Can you recall how Teaze actually came to be ? Were there any Pre-Teaze bands or recordings prior to then ?
CP: Brian actually started the band. He’d seen me play and asked if I’d be interested in starting something with him, and at the same time Mike was filling in for an absent drummer in Brian’s band and Brian asked him the same. Then he found a guitar player named Phil Gibson. We started rehearsing and after a short time Phil left. Then Brian got ahold of Marco. I had played with Marco in a previous band; we’d played a few high schools and got discovered by Stan Whitcher, who had done some work for the Stampeders, which got us a deal with Mel Shaw. That’s when we changed our name from Ontario to Teaze.
Q: Who were some of the influences of the other bandmembers and of the band as a whole ? You guys were right across from Detroit, so how big of a role did bands like Alice Cooper, Grand Funk, MC5, and Ted Nugent play in influencing the band’s direction & sound ?
CP: Marco was always into Johnny Winter, Allman Brothers and the blues. Mike was a Rod Stewart, Eric Carmen ,Bruce Springsteen – kind of a guy. Brian was into Pink Floyd, Deep Purple, Grand Funk, Valdie. And living 5 minutes away from Detroit had a lot of influence on all of us. There were a lot of great bands through the 60’s and 70’s, not only the rock bands – Seger, Iggy, Brownsville Station and the above mentioned to name a fraction of the bands that were around, but the whole motown thing too. I don’t think that anybody who grew up here during that era wasn’t influenced one way or another by the motown thing.
Q: What do recall of making the band’s first LP ? Any stories ? How was it released and how did it sell ?
CP: The first LP was recorded at a farm-house converted into a studio just outside of Toronto called ‘The Grange’. Our understanding was that we were cutting a demo, but before we knew it they (Mel and Stan) wanted to release it. We weren’t too thrilled about it, but after about a dozen or so mixes we finally agreed. Then we all hated the picture they decided on for the cover, but we were young and really in no position to argue. Mel created Force One Records to release it on. It didn’t sell too well, only around 10 000 copies, but all in all it got us a foot in the door.
Q: How did Teaze come to the attention of Aquarius Records ? How did that deal work out ?
CP: Mel had us play at the RPM convention in ’76 in Toronto; that’s when we met Donald Tarlton (Donald K Donald), Terry Flood (the ‘Winos manager) and Skippy Snair ( A&R Aquarius), and I think they acquired us the next week. Donald and Terry, along with Bob Raggs and Bob Lemm were co-owners of Aquarius. Bob Raggs was our personal manager from that point on.
Q: How did the country flavored “Sweet Misery” become the band’s big hit ? Was this a real surprise , and what influenced the song’s sound ?
CP: Sweet Misery was the first song I’d written by myself and it was kind of a last minute one. We needed another song for the album, so I was sitting at home watching “Charlies Angels” and there was a play on the show called Sweet Misery, it clicked and I wrote down some lyrics and went to bed, got back up wrote down the chords. The next day I gave the lyrics to Mike, he always had a way with words and he came up with the final set of lyrics. So the country flavor is probably my doing since I always listened to it; the same thing with “Loose Change”, but everyone in the band had a great deal of input on the final outcome. Brian did an excellent job on the vocals along with Nanette Workman.
Skippy gave Robert Wood a tape of the album, he heard it and said he wanted to start playing Sweet Misery on the CHUM chain. Yea, that was a real suprise! We weren’t too happy; we felt it didn’t represent what Teaze was, and we only played it live a couple of times.
Q: How did the band get “discovered” in Japan and hooked up to tour there ? Any stories or memories from that tour ? How well were you received over there, and did you ever have the chance to go back ?
CP: Terry Flood got that all together. He still had ties from his Mashmakan days there. We had a great time over there, the people were so polite. There was a group of about 20 girls that followed us everywhere – if we got on a plane they were there; if we got on a train they were there … Not to mention the groups of fans waiting for us at hotels, airports and train stations! We’d walk into a hotel lobby and be mobbed by fans; they gave us all kinds of gifts. It was quite different to what we were used to in North America.
Q: How / Why was Myles Goodwyn brought in to produce “One Night Stands” ? What can you tell me about these sessions with Myles as producer ? How was he to work with ?
CP: Since we were managed by the same company we played quite a few times with April Wine and we got to know them pretty good. I’m not sure who came up with the initial idea to have Myles produce but we all agreed it was a good thing. We had a lot of fun with Myles working on that project, and being a guitar player he had Marco and myself doing a lot more tracks than we had done previously. Everyone would agree that if Myles would have been available to produce the next album the outcome of Teaze would have been different.
Q: One Night Stands is an extremely strong album with perhaps my 2 favorite Teaze tunes > “Heartless World”, “Young & Reckless”, and also the countrified “Loose Change”. How were the critics [reviewers] responses to this album? And was this a low point for the band [how low?], being that it wasn’t a huge commercial success that many may have felt it could’ve / should’ve ??
CP: We were happy with the outcome of One Night Stands, but it didn’t have that one song that got a lot of airplay even though more songs got airplay for a shorter period of time. I think the critics for the most part liked it, but it didn’t sell too well. That didn’t really bother us nor bring us down. Aquarius used it to get us a deal with Capital/EMI for the US and worldwide distribution.
Q: What was the atmosphere or mood while recording the band’s last album – “Body Shots” ? What do you recall of these sessions and period ?
CP: Body Shots was probably a mistake all the way around. We wanted Myles to produce but he was unavailable. The producer was fighting with Capital Records in LA – who wanted us to scrub the session and wait for one of their producers; we wanted to continue and did, but we weren’t happy at all with the final product – which was way over budget. We thought the demo we did at a little basement studio sounded a lot better and had a lot more feeling. Then because we pissed off Capital Records they put us under suspension because we were late delivering the album, which also meant they shelved One Night Stands – which they had been working for a few months, basically cutting off our distribution in the US and the rest of the world since they had rights to everything except Canada and Japan. Now we were starting to feel low.
Q: The band split soon after Body Shots. How was this LP received by fans and critics? What lead to the band splitting up at this time ?
CP: The album didn’t do well at all. A few songs did get airplay in certain markets but all in all it did poorly. By this point we were all pretty low; the management company wasn’t as enthusiastic as they had been, and Brian was having problems with his throat which made him feel even lower and he’d decided that he’d had enough and left.
Q: Were there any attempts to work or re-group in later years ?
CP: Mike, Marco and myself got together with a girl named Lynn Wilson (now Marco’s wife) – who sang and played bass for a while but nothing really came of it.
Q: How come Aquarius has only released the Live album and the compilation on CD ? Is there any plans to get more of the band’s catalogue issued on CD ? Are there any recordings in the ‘vault’ that have never been released, but possibly could ?
CP: I don’t know why Aquarius didn’t release the other stuff on CD, they’ve been very evasive every time we contacted them since the band broke up and as far as I know they don’t handle our catalog anymore.
I think a company called Unidisc in Montreal handles it now and I think they do have On The Loose, One Night Stands and Body Shots on CD, and I think they did release a couple of songs from the ‘vault’ on one of them. We’re still investigating this whole thing ourselves.
Q: What are your favorite tracks from the Teaze repertoire ?
CP: “Baby Won’t You Stay The Night” off On The Loose is probably my favorite track.
Q: What were some of the biggest gigs you guys ever played ? crowd-size, and sharing bills with huger acts ? [Who did you guys tour with? ]
CP: Places like the Montreal Forum, Maple Leaf Gardens, PNE Stadium were about the largest size gigs that we’ve played. We’ve worked with April Wine, Streetheart, Triumph, Toronto, a few with Goddo, Meatloaf, Blue Oyster Cult, Aerosmith, Cheap Trick, Toto… to name a few.
Q: Did you guys do any tours outside of Canada, besides Japan?
CP: We did one gig in Flint, Michigan with April Wine and that was it. The management and record company didn’t want us to go there for some reason which we always thought was a mistake.
Q: What are the other guys up to now ? anyone still recording or playing ?
CP: Marco still plays once in a while with his wife Lynn in a country band called ‘Lynn and The Rebles’, which did a bit of recording, but most days he runs a hock shop that his father left him and takes care of all his farm animals. Mike is working at Chryslers and raising his son and new daughter with wife Janice; Brian has seven children, married to another Lynn and is a minister at a local church. He recently released a Christian CD along with his wife. I’m an industrial electrician, and a soundman with I.A.T.S.E., married to Sue with two grown girls; and I still play every day but have no plans to get back into the buisness.
Q: There was a decent scene of HR bands on southern Ontario in the early 80s with bands like Santers, Coney Hatch, Saga, … – did you ever feel like you guys just missed out timing-wise or ever regret splitting up when you did ?
CP: Yea, I think our timing was all off. I think if we would have been around for another year things would have ended up differently. And if we would have been around when the video thing started things may have been different. But Oh WELL!
Q: Can you list me some of your favorite Canadian bands and Canuck albums ?
CP: I like a lot of our homegrown acts, and being a union soundman I’ve had the opportunity to work with a lot of them so it’s really hard for me to start picking favorites.
Q: What sort of stuff do you listen to nowadays? What do you think of the Canadian music scene 20 years after Teaze ?
CP: The Canadian music scene seems to be doing great. We have a wide variety of artists in various music fields that are all doing well on the international scene. And I still listen to all kinds of stuff; it depends on what kinda mood I’m in.
Q: What are you currently up to [music, hobbies, etc…] ?
CP: Doing the day job thing, play a little guitar, cruise the net, do sound at the Chrysler Theatre once in a while. I take care of my dog and rabbits. And now that we have no kids living at home anymore, we’re taking advantage of that situation (‘wink,wink’).
Q: Familiar with Uriah Heep ? Ever cross paths with them or listen to them much in your younger years ? )
CP: Sure I listened to Heep when I was younger; we used to cover a couple of their songs when we first started playing. I can’t really remember what ones we played; I know I used to play “Stealin”, but it might have been in a previous band.
Q: BTW, are you familiar with Joe Konas ?
CP: Yea, I’ve known Joe since Brian played with him before Teaze.
Q: What band was this ?
CP: Joe’s band was called ‘Crystal Palace’, and I’m pretty sure they did a single on a private label. Then his next band was simply call ‘Joe’. He is quite a good guitarist and I’m sure he still teaches and/or runs the conservatory in town.
Interview written by Kevin J; December 2000
to check out a great interview with Mike Kozak – http://www.nerdyframes.org/teaze-the-interview/ with Chuck – http://www.angelfire.com/rock2/rockinterviews/teaze.html